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Useful advice

Passport and Visa Requirements

UK passport holders need only a passport for visiting EU countries. If you hold a non-EU passport, you may be prevented from travel without the proper visas and documentation, in such circumstance you shall remain liable for full payment of the cost of the Tour.
None EU Tours: It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct visa in place for the countries you will visit.

What to pack

This is a very good question, it’s very personal choice however on our first trip we totally overpacked. Most of the time we will be spending on the bike so most of the time you just need your bike clothes and some under suit (you should have a few of them). The under suit is very important as travelling in summer is a sweaty affair, you need to have something to change into when your under suit becomes dirty. There is usually a laundry service in most hotels so you can clean your wardrobe when needed but a spare clothes will always come handy. Apart of the bike clothes you may wish to pack some clothing to use once of the bike, a few t-shirts, jeans, jumper, etc.

Make sure you are prepared for any weather and have suitable, warm and waterproof clothing.

It’s a good idea to have a basic toolkit as well as puncture kit, it can be a lifesaver in an emergency situation. We do have a toolkit usually but make sure you have one that fits your bike.

Your motorcycle

We only accept motorcycles of 600cc or over as for touring you need to have a suitable bike not to slow the other riders down. You need to make sure the bike is roadworthy, fully serviced and have fresh enough tires to last the milage of the trip, a new set of tires is advised. Please make sure you have all the required documents like V5 registration certificate, proof of insurance, your driving licence. It’s essential to have a breakdown insurance that will recover you home or to the garage that can fix your bike. You are also responsible to cover the cost of your petrol.

Can I take a pillion?

The short answer is yes, however you need to be aware that because of the accommodation and ferry / train tickets there is an additional cost. The cost of the pillion tour is 80% of the full tour price.

Touring experience and riding with the group

It’s best if you have some touring experience. Riding so many miles it’s quite different and more demanding than a weekend blast with the friends, we hope you do know what you are getting into signing up for this kind of trip. If you however have any doubts we would advice you try a few day tour in UK, covering around 250-300 miles a day, it will give you a better idea what to expect.

The roads we are going to are very demanding so you need to be an experienced rider, we can’t accept newbies as the last thing we want is for someone to crash and spoil the trip for everyone, or worse injure himself.

There are certain rules you need to learn for riding in the group as it’s very important everyone is safe and have enough space and time to react if something unexpected happens.

In most cases, we will ride in small group, with Tour guide in-front. Although it’s legal, don’t ride side by side. If a rider has to take evasive action, they will take out another rider. Keep a safe distance from each other. Staggered formation (riders in alternate wheel tracks) is better than single-file at slow speeds as the ride doesn’t string out as far and people don’t get left behind. It also provides more braking distance between riders. The faster you are going, the more space you need between each other. There are usually some fast riders as well as some slow ones, you need to make sure you ride according to your ability, if the riders in front are faster and you do not feel confident to keep up to this speeds DON’T push yourself as it may end up badly, always ride at the pace you are comfortable with. If the ride gets strung out, don’t panic, try to catch up or slow the ride to pick up the stragglers. If everyone has been briefed, they will all end up at the next stop, anyway.

Look around you. Don’t concentrate on the rear tyre of the bike in front. Look ahead several riders and also check your mirrors more frequently. This will give you more spatial awareness so you can identify a problem in the pack earlier and therefore be able to react quickly.

If you are faster than the rider in front, pass them, unless it’s the ride leader. Don’t sit right on their tail, intimidating them. But only pass one rider at a time and maybe give them a short blast of the horn first to alert them of your intentions. When you pass, make sure you have plenty of room to pull back into the pack. If you pass a car, always assume the rider behind you will also try to overtake. So when you file back into the lane, move to the left wheel track to allow room for another rider to join you.

We employ both the cornerman and buddy group riding systems, depending on the tour and number of riders. Both systems ensure that our route is marked at all times which should avoid anyone falling off plan.

Textile or leathers

This is an age old question. Both have their advantages and faults. Leathers will definitely keep you safer should anything go terribly wrong but they also have a big disadvantages. They do not provide enough warmth when it’s cold as well as make you boiling inside when it’s too hot, also they are not weatherproof, so should you choose to wear them, make sure you have some waterproof overalls in case we encounter some rain. You may also consider a windproof jacket you can wear over the leathers to keep you warm if needed. This brings us to a textiles, a quality touring suit will be both breathable and waterproof so it will keep you dry and warm or cool if needed, however they will give you less protection in case of accident. Personally, having done touring in both, I would advice on a textiles as overall it will make you more comfortable.

 

 

© I wish I could do it 2017